Amendment #953, offered by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the Senators said, would reduce the premium subsidy level by 15% "for the nation's wealthiest farmers."
A major hang-up with the amendment was a concern among some legislators and Sen. Stabenow that the bill would cause top-tier farmers to leave the federal crop insurance program and therefore jeopardize the bill's conservation compliance provision.
Stabenow noted that large tracts of land owned by top-tier farmers account for not only a significant portion of land enrolled in conservation programs, but also and sizeable payments into the crop insurance program, thereby affecting smaller farmers, too.
Coburn, however, said the more than $1 billion the amendment saves would result in limited changes, and large farmers would likely remain in the crop insurance program despite a dock in premium subsidies.
So far, amendment 953 makes 12 amendments the Senate has already considered. Though Sen. Debbie Stabenow previously estimated that discussion could wrap up as early as Friday, she said Thursday that no more votes would be taken on the bill until Senators return from Memorial Day recess on June 3.
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